St. Patrick's Day is the one time of the year where a little
European country across a very big pond is hailed and celebrated in the U.S.
Bet you didn’t know these interesting facts about Ireland and the Irish!
1. Many Irish family names start with "Mac"
or "O'...", which means respectively "son of ..." and
"grandson of ..." in Gaelic.
2. Ireland is a snake-free island. It’s isolated from
the European mainland, so it also lacks several species that are common
elsewhere in Europe, such as moles, weasels, polecats and roe deer.
3. In 2012, 34.1 million Americans claimed Irish
descent — or seven times the number of 4.6 million who live in Ireland itself.
4. There are at least 16 towns named Dublin in the
Image via ms_pacman/Twenty20
5. The three most famous symbols of Ireland are the green Shamrock, the harp, and the Celtic cross.. There’s plenty of Irish blood in
Hollywood. Legendary actors including Harrison Ford, Bill Murray, Alec Baldwin,
George Clooney, Mel Gibson and Ben Affleck are of Irish descent.
6. Ironically, St. Patrick wasn’t Irish. He
was Roman. He is said to have used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to the pagan Irish.
7. The longest place name in Ireland is
Muckanaghederdauhaulia. It’s a 470 acre townland in the civil parish of
Kilcummin in County Galway, Ireland.
was derived from an Irish festival called Samhain.
9. Ireland has created some of the most recognizable objects we know. The infamous RMS Titanic was built in Belfast. The White House was designed by Irish
architect James Hoban after he won a competition sponsored by
President George Washington and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson in
1792. And the Oscar statuette handed out at the Academy Awards was
designed by Cedric Gibbons, who was born in Dublin in 1893.
10. The color originally associated with St. Patrick wasn’t green, it was
people in Ireland don’t wear green clothes on St. Patrick’s Day like Americans;
a sprig of shamrock on your clothes is sufficient.